Volume 8, Number 9 - Fall 1984

The Bakers of Taney County, Missouri
Family History

LUTHER VIERNILE BAKER and ELIZABETH ANN MONTOOTH (Anna) were married in 1867. For most of their life, Lute was a sort of veterinary and livestock dealer. However, from 1892 to 1896 he served as deputy sheriff in Taney County, Missouri under sheriff Charles Cook. At this time, the office of sheriff was not an elected post. Several of the leading men appointed him and his deputies.

One day as Lute was returning to Forsyth, Missouri after a week away, he met Mr. Keithly and his son on the road between Taneyville and Forsyth. Mr. Keithly said, "Boy am I glad to see you. I heard you were in a big gun battle and got killed." To which Lute replied, "Yes, I heard that story too, and I knew the minute I heard it, it was a damn lie."

Circuit Court Record Book #1, page 544: L. V. Baker was appointed deputy sheriff by the Taney County Sheriff, John L. Cook, on October 28, 1889, and that such appointment was approved by the Circuit Court Judge, Walker S. Hubbard.

Circuit Court Record Book #2, page 1: On the 1st day of the regular April term held on April 28, 1890, Judge Walter S. Hubbard presided, that James DeLong was prosecuting attorney; John L. Cook was sheriff; and R. L. Branson was clerk of the court. The record on this date further shows that the sheriff, John L. Cook, and these deputies were sworn to serve papers and perform the duties of sheriff for the court, to-witt: L. V. Baker, Ruben Isaacs, W. H. Petty, and V. M. Ayers.

Excerpts from the Taney County News, Branson, Missouri, June 5, 1890: Mr. L. V. Baker was in our vicinity today on legal business. Another article in the same year: Miss Florance Baker is attending the summer term at Sparta academy in Christian County, Missouri.

Florance did not approve of her parents standard of living and in 1904 she persuaded her mother to move in with her. Lutte remained in Sparta and rented room and board from a couple there.

From this union there were four children:

1 Mae Baker married Edgar Bolin and they were both school teachers at Day, Missouri. Edgar was also a lawyer. They lived in Stillwater, Okla. They adopted a little girl about 7 years old who was quite musical in piano and harp.

2. Lillie Baker married Charley Page. They owned grocery stores in several places but the last was in Claremore, Oklahoma where they both died. There were four children: Rex, Frank, Glessa and Edith.

3. Arthur V. Baker married Laura Ann Osburn and lived in several counties in Missouri (Wright, Webster, Christian). He was a salesman for Keat and Roundtree of Springfield, Missouri but later turned to the livestock business. They had 11 children: Loise, Herbert, Tipton, Levy, Charlie, baby boy born dead, Ruth, Fred, Jack, William and Richard.

4. Florance Ann Baker married Richard E. Morris on Feb. 3, 1895. They moved to Roswell, New Mexico in 1911 where they both taught school. In 1925 Florance lost her hearing and was forced to quit teaching but furthered her studies in art. She became an artist of some fame and was listed in the following books: 1909, Who’s Who in the World, being eligible for this honor because she is listed in Who’s Who of America, Who’s Who in American Art, American Women, Leading Women of America, International Contemporary Painters of France and Notable Women of the Southwest.


Roswell Daily Record, Tuesday, November 17, 1914


Mrs. Annie Baker, the mother of Mrs. R. E. Morris passed away November 16th at 8:15 p.m.

She was born in Pittsburg, Pa., November 3, 1845 being 69 years and 12 days old. She was married to L. V. Baker in her 22nd year, and four children were born to this union, all of whom are living. Mrs. C. D. Page, Springfield, Mo.; Mrs. E. L. Bolin, Afton, Okla; Arthur V. Baker, Rogersville, Mo.; and Mrs. R. E. Morris of Roswell, with whom she had made her home the last ten years.

Her life was a perfect example of Christian womanhood. She was loved by all who knew her, she was the sunshine of the home she just left. Her influence will live with them forever. Her children shall ever rise up and call her blessed. When she enters the Golden Gate the angels will say, "she hath done what she could."

The funeral will be at the residence at 10 o’clock Wednesday morning in charge of her pastor Rev. Ellis Smith of the M. E. Church Smith. The scripture will be the twenty second Psalm. The song service will be in charge of Judge J.S. Kirby Friends of the family cordially invited.


Copied from microfilm, 7-22-77
by Nancy Langston
Roswell Public Library
Roswell, N. Mexico 88201

Taney County Republican

Word was received at this office this week of the death of L. V. Baker, who died at Rogersville on Thursday, October 18, 1928, at the age of 84 years. Mr. Baker was a resident of Taney County for many years.

Roswell Daily Record, Thursday, September 4, 1947


Mrs. R. E. Morris, long resident of Roswell, died at St. Mary’s Hospital last night at 7:30. Her death was a result of a cerebral hemorrhage. She had been ill for several years. She had been in the hospital since Friday when the hemorrhage began and remained unconscious until her death.

Funeral services will be conducted at Westrum Chapel Friday afternoon at 4:00 by the Rev. Orbin M. Turner. Musical selections will be under the direction of Mrs. W. W. Akin. Pall bearers will be I. D. Shinkle, Clarence Hinkle, F. L. Austin, Lea Rowland, H. H. McGee and S. P. Lodewick. Burial will be in South Park.

Florence Ann Morris was born in Nevada, Mo. She was the daughter of Luther V. Baker and Elizabeth Baker. She attended Nevada High School and later studied at Cottey College in Nevada and at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

She married Richard E. Morris of Springfield, Mo. in 1895. In 1925 she lost her hearing after an attack of flu and it was at this time that she took up art. She studied under A. J. Hammond of Boston and W. E. Rollins of Sante Fe. In 1926 she went to France and Italy to study portraiture. In 1930 she again went abroad to exhibit her paintings. These were so successful that they are known and appreciated internationally.

Mrs. Morris has always been interested in the development of art in Roswell. Even in her busiest years of painting she has found time to conduct art classes. By this means, she has guided many students through the fundamentals of art, and some of them have become artists in their own right.

Mrs. Morris served 12 successive years as chairman of the art committee of the Roswell’s Women’s Club and it was through this office that she promoted the annual art exhibits that became so well known. It was through her efforts that the Woman’s Club started its permanent collection of paintings.

Mrs. Morris was an active member of the Methodist Church until her health failed. She belonged to the PEO and was an honorary member of the International Beta Sigma Phi sorority.

She is survived by her husband, R. E. Morris, of Roswell; her daughter, Mrs. R. L. Villard of Roswell and Mrs. C. W. Weaver of Denver, Cob., and four great-grandchildren.

The following people have one or more paintings:

Mrs. Jane Clark (granddaughter)
Rt. L Box 107p
Midland, Texas

John Villar (grandson)
W. Jefferson Street
Almogordo, New Mexico

The Woman’s Club of Roswell, N. M.

J. D. Danner (sister-in-law)
814 W. 5th St
Boham, Texas

Easter New Mexico Medical Center Hospital
405 W. Country Club Road
Roswell, New Mexico 88201


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